Is Chronic Pain Medication Safe to be used for long term?

For people with severe pain in back, pain medication becomes extremely necessary. Pain medications help people in acute or short-term pain so that it helps making the normal function possible and in case of chronic pain it helps manage pain while undergoing other types of treatments to administer the reasons for pain.

The above situation is just ideal situation. Unfortunately in some other cases people who face non-specific pain in back, means where the cause isn’t identified. People having acute pain can also become chronic pain in no time. People having chronic pain, quickly come under the trap of treatment  through drugs only to relieve the pain.

Many people completely trust their respective doctors and do not raise any question or doubt their way of treatment or prescribed medicines. However, problems arise when medication like short-acting opioid are used for managing chronic pain. Short-acting opioids are type of narcotic medications that help providing temporary relief from pain and it requires re-dosing frequently and over some period of time requires higher doses to attain the desired effect for pain relief.

Short-acting opioids tend to become habit forming medications compared to long-acting opioids and result in unwanted withdrawal symptoms, like flu, tremors, and diarrhea. It also effect the pain sufferer psychologically as the pain comes back again during withdrawal. Long-acting opioids are preferred over short-acting opioids for chronic pain.

What needs to be done

If the doctor has prescribed Percocet or any other inappropriate opioid to be taken in long term, make sure you ask your doctor. Your approach to the doctor will help in saving yourself and your chemical dependency for a prolonged period.

Discuss with your doctor and let him know that the medications that you are consuming is not fit for your pain and not safe for you. The appropriate way to avoid the withdrawal symptoms and manage pain completely depends on the duration of the current medicine you are taking. Discuss with your doctor and ask him to suggest you safer alternatives like long acting types of medications. Remember these medications have risk of dependency.

Don’t stop medications to be on the safer side as pain treatment for your back should not begin and end with concealing the pain. Your pain means it’s a sign that something is not going right in your body. Failure to find out and rectify the exact cause of pain can lead to other problems like degenerative disc, spinal misalignment, pain in facet joint etc., even if the exact cause isn’t identified it creates problem so it is better to spend experimenting with different treatment methods available like physical therapy, chiropractic care and massage therapy. Some other treatments include correction of postural dysfunction after analyzing a bit.

This is pain that you are suffering from and you need to be concerned about pain and its treatment. Your doctor will help you recovering from pain. Trust your doctor and empower yourself and learn about the possibilities of treatment and your body. It will help you a lot in healing faster.

Calmare Scrambler Therapy − Overcoming chronic pain without drugs or invasive devices

By Michael J. Cooney, D.C.

Pain affects more Americans than diabetes, heart disease and cancer combined. Yet, we don’t know how to help people get rid of it, in most cases. It affects 100 million adult Americans, according to a report from the Institute of Medicine, part of the National Academy of Sciences.

Sometimes medication, therapies and devices just don’t work for many patients living with chronic pain, defined as lasting more than three to six months. In addition, side effects from prescribed opioids can become debilitating, less effective over time, or cost prohibitive.

Despite the alarming prevalence of chronic pain, many people, including healthcare providers, are unaware of the success of a growing number of non-narcotic treatments, supported by considerable research.

It is possible to lessen, and even eliminate pain, without the use of medication.

As a chiropractor who specializes in treating various pain conditions as a result of injury or disease, my biggest frustration is when our tried-and-true treatments do not result in a successful outcome.

Often these patients are forced to seek out more invasive procedures − such as surgically implanted spinal cord stimulators (SCS) or powerful narcotics such as Ketamine − where success has been uneven but the side effects are significant.

What happens to these patients for whom traditional treatments and medications simply don’t work?

Drug-free treatment for neuropathy

To help my own patients, I introduced FDA-cleared Calmare Pain Therapy Treatment (scrambler therapy), a U.S. FDA 510(k)-cleared and European CE mark-certified, non-invasive pain therapy device. This free-standing device is painless for the patient, has no side effects and requires no medication.

The device was developed by Professor Giuseppe Marineo, a researcher and bioengineer and the founder and manager of Delta Research & Development, affiliated with Tor Vergata University of Rome, Italy.

Scrambler therapy has a talk with the brain

The brain’s reaction to chronic pain can be compared to learning to play the piano or memorizing a poem − the more the body “practices” processing pain, the stronger the connections between pain nerves and the brain become.

When someone is injured, the brain sets up a process to heal the injury. For example, cells carry away dead tissue or it increases blood flow to the area. Eventually, the brain realizes the injury has healed and it cuts off the pain message.

But for some, the brain never sends that pivotal message saying “there’s no more injury here so you can stop the pain signal.”

That’s where the scrambler device comes in. Using several small electrodes (think EKG) carefully placed in the region of the injury, the technology sends a mild “no pain” message to the brain through the electrodes. Essentially, the scrambler machine “overrides” the brain’s confused message and corrects it to the ‘no pain here” message.

This process is repeated during 10 daily treatments which last from 30 to 60 minutes. In the majority of cases, by the end of the cycle, there is no more pain signal emanating from the brain. In many cases, pain is lessened for the patient as soon as the first treatment.

What kinds of neuropathic conditions can it help?

We introduced this technology to treat our local treatment-resistant patients here in New Jersey. But to our surprise, patients from as far away as Australia and South Africa have traveled to our clinic for treatment.

I have treated hundreds of patients battling complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) or reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD), a progressive condition characterized by severe pain, inflammation and changes in the skin. Patients commonly describe the pain as a burning sensation, which affects one of the arms, legs, hands or feet. We have seen outstanding outcomes helping more than 85 percent of patients lessen or eliminate pain and physical symptoms.

Scrambler therapy has also been shown to offer successful outcomes for these conditions resulting in chronic pain:

Is the device safe and supported by clinical trials?

Scrambler therapy has proven effective in clinical trials and patient outcomes. Teaching hospitals, including the Massey Cancer Institute at Virginia Commonwealth University and the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) have performed trials and reported significant reductions in pain associated with cancer treatment and other chronic pain conditions. The Mayo Clinic has been engaged in several clinical trials for the past three years.

The importance of discovering alternative treatments for neuropathy

The majority of patients we treat with scrambler therapy arrive at our clinic frustrated and exhausted by the endless search for pain relief. Often, in desperation, they resort to surgery, experimental procedures outside the U.S. or powerful pain medications which leave them mentally and physically diminished by side effects.

I encourage people with treatment-resistant neuropathy and their families to consider less invasive alternative solutions to combat the effects of chronic pain. Surprisingly, the cost can be comparable to prescription medications and in-patient co-pays, in many cases. And the outcome can be life-changing.

Regardless of the pain therapy you choose, keep in mind there are treatments that do not involve narcotics, surgery or invasive procedures which can result in more pain and discomfort. Keep looking, talk to doctors, follow and keep up on the new research. There may very well be a solution out there to minimize your pain. But, often, it’s up to you to discover it.

Dr. Michael J. Cooney has been a doctor of chiropractic for more than 30 years at Rutherford Allied Medical Group and Calmare Therapy NJ located in Rutherford, New Jersey, where he is one of 10 certified providers of Calmare Pain Therapy Treatment in the United States. He can be reached at 201-933-4440.